Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rethinking "Luck of the Irish"

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today is another stop on Beacon's virtual book tour. Please make sure to share a "Howdy" over at The Reading Addict. And if you haven't entered the giveaway yet, be sure to get on board. After all, you'll never know if you can win if you don't enter.

Now, about the post title...

I feel rather humbled right now. I hadn't considered any of the history behind St. Patrick's Day. Like many, I accepted it as a day set aside to celebrate the good someone brought about. But I've learned a little more that gives me a little more appreciation for things. Check out this article on The Seven Biggest Myths of St. Patrick's Day. This item was rather, um..., well, what can I say?

"Luck of the Irish" Refers to the Abundance of Good Fortune Long Enjoyed by the Irish
Really? What sort of luck is it that brings about 1,000 years of invasion, colonization, exploitation, starvation and mass emigration? In truth, this term has a happier, if not altogether positive, American origin. During the gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century, a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth. For example, James Fair, James Flood, William O'Brien and John Mackay were collectively known as the"Silver Kings" after they hit the famed Comstock Lode. Over time this association of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression"luck of the Irish." Of course, it carried with it a certain tone of derision, as if to say, only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these fools succeed.

Were you already aware of some of the history behind this fair holiday? Any thoughts?

5 comments:

  1. I always thought it was a day to drink...as if I needed an excuse. Ha!

    But originally, it did honor Ireland's patron saint. I went to Catholic school, so knowing the saints and their accomplishments was big on our reading list. :)

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    1. I grew as a missionary Baptist. There was very little teaching about saints... just disciples lol!

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  2. I am of Irish descent so I have read a fair amount of the history. Can you believe it: I don't think I've ever ate corned beef? My mother may have cooked it when I was little, but I can't really remember. I do love cabbage and potatoes though :)

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  3. I've learned a lot about today through blog posts. Didn't know that's where the phrase originated.

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  4. Huh, didn't know that "luck of the Irish" was originally a demeaning statement, but I'm not surprised. Irish immigrants weren't well respected. Well, disrespecting immigrants is sadly what we do ... except for the original batch of immigrants who didn't respect the natives. Ugh.

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